Another thank you to Delta

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Sep 13, 2017
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#1
I am usually just a reader on this forum, but wanted to share this to let people know that Delta did right by us.

We were on way back from Amsterdam and were then stuck at Customs/Immigration in Atlanta for nearly 2 hours when 4 international flights arrived at the same time, which resulted in us missing our connecting flight. Being that it was late and we just missed the last onward flight for us, we had to get a hotel room out of our own pocket for the night after getting rebooked for the next morning.

Delta did not charge us for the rebooking fee and the gate agent explained that it was not their fault so no comp room, which is understandable. After talking to a few people back home, and not knowing what else to do, we decided to start by writing a letter to see if Delta corporate would consider reimbursing our hotel cost, even though it was really TSA fault.

To our surprise, Delta credited us with 15K miles each instead of just blowing us off. We thought that was a nice outcome from Delta customer service in the handling of our situation.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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6,341
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San Francisco
#2
Thanks so much for posting this, Sammie. We preach and preach to "write polite letters" and it's great to read that our system works, sometimes with the very first letter. Well done!
 
Jan 19, 2018
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#4
Not so fast.... thinking that Delta was being "generous". An important question? Did you land in a terminal reserved for Delta and its partners? If yes, they have absolutely knowledge of the number of incoming passengers and how many passengers per hour TSA there can handle and could then be responsible for your delay (owing you hotel/food/taxi vouchers) About 5 yrs ago I was traveling with my son on United from CDG to ROC via IAD on Labor Day weekend (never again!) This was the last time that I traveled without trip insurance! We had more than one hr wait to get through TSA after a long wait in Immigration and baggage. We missed the last flight to ROC and there was no availability for several days! I found a kind agent from a different airline who gave me a taxi voucher to get to Reagan (a $92 ride) where we could get a flight the next day but we were on our own for the hotel/meals. Well, I am not one to give up easily. I found on the IAD website that I had landed in a terminal for United and its partners only. There was a list of incoming flights and passenger counts. Also I found information on TSA limits with all check points open. Well, United and partners had a 1000 more passengers landing in the 30 min. before and the 30 min. after my flight than TSA could handle, obviously overwhelming TSA.
I subsequently sent that information to United, who not only refunded all of our expenses but also gave each of us a few thousand miles as a mea culpa. This information is not always easy to find but NEVER just accept an airline's "not our fault" at face value!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,665
12,004
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
The international terminals usually handle multiple airlines. If four flights land at the same time, even if it was a Delta terminal, it might not be under Deltas control. There could be flights that arrived late due to weather or other reasons that end up causing large crowds to go through customs at one time.
 
Jan 19, 2018
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#6
Neil, absolutely! However I wanted to let others that sometimes that is not true, especially at airline hubs. I have had airlines deny culpability in delays when they clearly knew that they were at fault (i.e. EC 261 monetary rewards for delayed flights...two separate airlines have tried to tell me that technical issues count as "out of their control" while the EC regulations clearly state that is not true. They are hoping that most passengers don't have a clue).
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,665
12,004
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Oh EU261 denials are FAMOUS. Why a passenger has to file a complaint with the EU when the airlines clearly know they owe the passenger the compensation is ridiculous.

Why do they do it? Because there are probably thousands of passengers that take their word they aren’t due anything and go away. I wish we could point them all here so we could tell them to file those complaints with the EU,
 
Sep 13, 2017
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#8
Hi All: Sorry I did not know there were replies/questions in my old post until today.

To Neil: No, we do not have travel insurance except through our credit card which I did contact but was told that it only covers cancellation but not delays.

Carol112: We hope our next trips will be less stressful, but your information will certainly help others including myself in future similar situations. Thank you much.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,665
12,004
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
Hi All: Sorry I did not know there were replies/questions in my old post until today.

To Neil: No, we do not have travel insurance except through our credit card which I did contact but was told that it only covers cancellation but not delays.

Carol112: We hope our next trips will be less stressful, but your information will certainly help others including myself in future similar situations. Thank you much.
I’m glad you at least got miles and you are happy with it.

Next time consider buying Travel insurance- that would have likely covered a hotel. Many policies have missed connection options.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,279
6,341
113
San Francisco
#10
Not so fast.... thinking that Delta was being "generous". An important question? Did you land in a terminal reserved for Delta and its partners? If yes, they have absolutely knowledge of the number of incoming passengers and how many passengers per hour TSA there can handle and could then be responsible for your delay (owing you hotel/food/taxi vouchers) About 5 yrs ago I was traveling with my son on United from CDG to ROC via IAD on Labor Day weekend (never again!) This was the last time that I traveled without trip insurance! We had more than one hr wait to get through TSA after a long wait in Immigration and baggage. We missed the last flight to ROC and there was no availability for several days! I found a kind agent from a different airline who gave me a taxi voucher to get to Reagan (a $92 ride) where we could get a flight the next day but we were on our own for the hotel/meals. Well, I am not one to give up easily. I found on the IAD website that I had landed in a terminal for United and its partners only. There was a list of incoming flights and passenger counts. Also I found information on TSA limits with all check points open. Well, United and partners had a 1000 more passengers landing in the 30 min. before and the 30 min. after my flight than TSA could handle, obviously overwhelming TSA.
I subsequently sent that information to United, who not only refunded all of our expenses but also gave each of us a few thousand miles as a mea culpa. This information is not always easy to find but NEVER just accept an airline's "not our fault" at face value!
Terrific information, Carol. You should come join us and be an advocate!
 
Jan 19, 2018
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#11
to jsn55: Thanks for the compliment! I am a newbie at this but enjoy sharing what I learn. Give me some more time and I'll seriously consider it.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#13
Not so fast.... thinking that Delta was being "generous". An important question? Did you land in a terminal reserved for Delta and its partners? If yes, they have absolutely knowledge of the number of incoming passengers and how many passengers per hour TSA there can handle and could then be responsible for your delay (owing you hotel/food/taxi vouchers) About 5 yrs ago I was traveling with my son on United from CDG to ROC via IAD on Labor Day weekend (never again!) This was the last time that I traveled without trip insurance! We had more than one hr wait to get through TSA after a long wait in Immigration and baggage. We missed the last flight to ROC and there was no availability for several days! I found a kind agent from a different airline who gave me a taxi voucher to get to Reagan (a $92 ride) where we could get a flight the next day but we were on our own for the hotel/meals. Well, I am not one to give up easily. I found on the IAD website that I had landed in a terminal for United and its partners only. There was a list of incoming flights and passenger counts. Also I found information on TSA limits with all check points open. Well, United and partners had a 1000 more passengers landing in the 30 min. before and the 30 min. after my flight than TSA could handle, obviously overwhelming TSA.
I subsequently sent that information to United, who not only refunded all of our expenses but also gave each of us a few thousand miles as a mea culpa. This information is not always easy to find but NEVER just accept an airline's "not our fault" at face value!
It is hard to see how the TSA staffing issues are the fault of any airline. When the OP looked at the incoming flights and did a passenger count and declared that there were 1000 more passengers -- that is assuming that every passenger had a connection and that there were no passengers that left IAD to return to their homes in VA, MD etc.
 
Jan 19, 2018
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#14
Several people reacted that the Airline had no control over TSA and that some/many(?) incoming international passengers may not have had a connection. However at Dulles the terminal is reserved for only United and partner airlines. The Dulles website states the capacity of the terminal (passengers per hr) for immigration and TSA. A quick check of incoming flights showed arrival times (with none showing any major delay) and number of passengers. There was clearly an "over-booking" of arrivals at that time and date (midday to early PM and end of summer vacation!) You can bet that the airline would not have reimbursed me for my expenses if it wasn't true! I don't know if this information is still publicly available and is most certainly not something that you can easily look up on the spot. Like I learned NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT TRIP INSURANCE!